Uchembere Wabwino Maternity, a private clinic situated in Mzuzu, has renovated part of its facility to be used as a laboratory.
The Clinic’s Founder, Lucy Msukwa said the laboratory facility which has been supported with financial assistance from Growth Accelerator is a great milestone to the history of the clinic as it will offer many tests and other laboratory services to its clients.
“The facility will be equipped with state-of-the-art equipment which will soon be purchased for use so that it offers good health care services to the people who visit to seek medical and lab care services,” she said.
Msukwa said the lab facility means that most laboratory services except the major ones will be offered right at the clinic.
She believed that more jobs will be created as the clinic will require technicians to run the laboratory.
She added that her clinic will use part of the grant to purchase a fully-fledged ambulance as the clinic uses an ordinary vehicle in times of emergency and other deliveries.
“The ambulance will help to ferry emergencies especially pregnant women who are due for delivery to the clinic,” she observed.
She further said they have also refurbished the wards to be more friendly to women who are coming to seek maternity care.
As the world is advanced with health care system, Msukwa said, the clinic does not want to remain behind. “We want to have an electronic application for health management information system to help in registering our clients electronically.”
She said the system will help to keep data of all patients safe unlike what they are doing now by registering and keeping the information for the clients manually.
In future, Msukwa said, the clinic is planning will buy more equipment like an Endoscopy machine to diagnose patients with internal problems at the clinic.
She said the whole of northern region does not have the machine as the one which was at Mzuzu Hospital got damage and people who need the services are often referred to Lilongwe or Blantyre.
Although expensive, she said, the machine is very useful as it is used to check one’s inside problems like tumors among others.
Msukwa also revealed her plans of having her own structure in the city.” We have already started raising funds from well-wishers to construct a good health facility which will carter for clients from northern region.”
She said the current facility will be maintained as it will continue to offer services to people who are around the area.
Msukwa said she opened the facility in 2019 after going through Demographic Health Survey (DHS) which indicated that there is high maternal and neonatal mortality rates.
She said she was concerned with the high figures which were as high as 439 deaths per 100000 and 22 deaths per 1000 live births respectively.
Msukwa recalled that in the same year, there was a closure of Mzuzu Health Centre, a reliable health centre for people of Mzuzu which was under renovation for 18 months.
“Since I had already passion and an idea of starting a maternity clinic which was also to provide Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services,” She said.
Msukwa said she saw an opportunity to start a clinic at an affordable price because people were having challenges when they want to visit antenatal care and taking their Under-five children for growth monitoring.
She explained that the main reason of specializing in maternal area was that she lost her mother after she just gave birth to a brother due to complications.
Said Msukwa, she had diabetes and the pregnancy made the condition worse until she died while giving birth. “I raised my brother and other siblings alone a situation which made me to think of doing something to save lives of women hence the idea.”
Uchembere Wabwino provides maternal services including safe delivery place, SRH, Growth Monitoring for Under-Five children and Immunization among others.
One of the clients, Tadala Katchona, 21 years from Katoto area, came with a 10-month-old baby for growth monitoring at the clinic.
“Most of us who have under-five children prefer this place because their services are affordable and their time management is good as we don’t take long to seek for the services.”
Katchona expressed satisfaction with the services provided which she says are easy to access at the clinic.